Can I use my NDIS funding to pay for swimming lessons? This is a question our team is frequently asked and, like most things to do with the NDIS, the answer isn’t a straightforward one. With that in mind, join us as we dive in and explore how you can use your NDIS funds to pay for swimming lessons.

A quick dip into reasonable and necessary

Before we get in the deep end, let’s take a quick dip into the topic of reasonable and necessary, as it’s an important part of this discussion.
Put simply, the NDIS will only fund supports that are considered reasonable and necessary. This means it must relate to your disability, offer value for money, help you achieve your NDIS goals, not be a day-to-day expense, and not be something that your friends or family could help you with. 

So, are swimming lessons reasonable and necessary?

This will depend on your individual situation, as what’s considered reasonable and necessary varies from person to person. For most people, traditional swimming lessons are unlikely to be considered reasonable and necessary. In fact, the NDIS addressed this issue directly, saying that it doesn’t usually fund private swimming lessons because they don’t offer value for money and are something that a person’s informal network should help with.
But don’t hang your goggles up just yet! As with most NDIS supports, there are several ways to approach swimming lessons that may still be considered reasonable and necessary.

Some ways that swimming lessons might be funded

While private lessons might not be possible, here are some other ways you might be able to use your NDIS funding to get in the pool:

  • Swim with your support worker: Finding a support worker who specialises in physical activity can be a great way to develop your skills and confidence in the water. If you have funding for a support worker in your plan, you can hire one to take you to the pool and give you an informal lesson – although keep in mind that you’ll have to pay the entrance fees with your own money. Using a platform like Mable or Hireup allows you to search for support workers with specific skills or interests, like a background in personal training or swimming. If you’re a Plan Partners’ customer, you can also save on your first booking through My Benefits in your Dashboard which features exclusive discounts and other special offers.

  • Social swimming: If one of your goals is to develop your social skills and become more active in the community, group swimming classes are a fantastic option. This can enable you to use your social and community participation funding to join in a recreational swimming group, making new friends and building your capacity while in the pool.

  • Low impact exercise: Swimming is an excellent way to stay active in a safe way that doesn’t put excess strain on your body. If your disability makes it difficult or dangerous to exercise in a gym or go running, it may be suitable to use your Improved Health and Wellbeing funding to take up swimming instead. Swimming can also be an excellent form of low-impact therapy that’s much cheaper than hydrotherapy, so this may be another cost-effective option available to you if your NDIS goals relate to improved daily living and increasing your mobility.

  • Specialised classes: Some swimming schools offer disability specific classes, which can be funded under the NDIS. Our host for My NDIS Journey vlog and all-round superstar, Zak, took us along for the ride as he did his swimming class that’s designed for people with down syndrome – check out the video 'My Swimming Lessons'!

These are just some of the potential ways you might be able to join in swimming lessons with the support of the NDIS. The right option will depend on your plan’s funding, your NDIS goals and what’s considered reasonable and necessary for you.

Exploring your options

Our team have lots of experience helping customers achieve their possible when it comes to swimming. From finding which activities align with your goals and plan’s funding, to connecting you with the right service providers, there are many ways we can support you to take the plunge and get in the pool. Learn more about our plan management and support coordination services or discover other topics to help you get more from your NDIS plan.